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Beach user values and perceptions of coastal erosion

TR 2003/03

Report: TR 2003/03
Author: Corrina Dahm, Economos


This report was commissioned to review available research on both beach user perceptions and values, and perceptions of coastal erosion.

A key finding is that, although beaches are highly valued and utilised resources, beach user opinions and preferences and community perceptions of coastal erosion have only rarely been studied and even more rarely used as a contribution to management.

Nonetheless, some preliminary findings can be drawn from the available work. It should be noted that these findings are largely drawn from overseas literature and primarily based on surveys of beach users of European descent.

Beach user values and perceptions of coastal erosion
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Table of Contents

Executive Summary i
  Purpose of Report i
  Beach Use I
  Beach User Values and Perceptions i
  Perceptions of Coastal Erosion ii
  Perceptions of Adjustment Options ii
1 Introduction 1
  1.1 Purpose and Methodology 1
  1.2 Structure of the Report 1
  1.3 Waikato Beaches and Coastal Erosion 1
  1.4 Importance of Beaches 2
  1.5 Importance of Beach User Values and Perceptions 3
2 Beaches and Uses 4
  2.1 Temporal Variations in Beach Use 4
  2.2 Beach Activities 6
3 Factors Influencing Beach User Preferences 8
  3.1 Beach Development Status 8
  3.2 Environmental Quality 12
  3.3 Physical Characteristics 15
  3.4 Accessibility and Convenience 18
  3.5 Personal Association and Familiarity 19
  3.6 Other Aspects 20
4 Coastal Erosion 21
4 .1 Perception and Understanding of Coastal Erosion 22
  4.2 Perceptions of Adjustment Options 25
  4.3 Perception of the Role of Government 30
  4.4 Social Construction and Political Dimension of Coastal Erosion 32
5 Conclusions 33
6 References 37
Appendix I: Summary Of References 46
Appendix II: Annotated Bibliography 51